A bike shop that sold a stolen bike on has been criticised by its owner, who faced a seven month battle to get it back.
Ashley Thorpe’s racing bike was stolen from St Clements in Oxford, and by chance he happened upon it five months later locked up by Oxford International College in London Place.
He put his lock on it and called the police, but while he was waiting its new owner came back and said he had bought it from Cycle King on Cowley Road.
Police took the bike away, saying it was now a civil matter, and the bike was only returned to Mr Thorpe last week – almost a year after it was stolen.
He told the Oxford Mail: "Police have stopped their investigation.
"The reason the store gave for their sale was that someone had brought the bike in to be fixed and never came back for it but I don't believe any legitimate business would decide to sell a bike on based on that."
"I only paid about £200 for my bike but I'd had it for three years and had modified it for my needs. It was a commuter bike but I also used it for triathlons.
"This is probably my biggest hobby and it was awful having to replace it."
Cycle King Oxford branch manager, Keith Gosling, said: "Somebody brought the bike into us for repair and then never came back to collect it despite numerous calls.
"We have a policy where, if a bike isn't collected after three months, then we sell it to recover costs.
"We had no reason to believe it was stolen."
Mr Gosling added: "The man who owned the bike now has it back and the chap who bought it from us has had his money back.
"The only ones who have lost out are us because of the money we spent doing work on it."
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.